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10.06.2005 Business & Finance

Ghana, NEPAD and Oracle sign MOU


Accra, June 10, GNA - A memorandum of understanding for an electronic education project for pre-tertiary schools, the NEPAD e-Schools Demonstration project was signed on Friday among the Government of Ghana, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Oracle Consortium.

By the agreement, Ghana becomes the first country among 16 selected countries in Africa, where six schools in each of the selected countries, are to benefit from the project estimated at two million dollars for the entire Continent.

Under the agreement, the Government of Ghana would provide the local infrastructure like buildings, while the Oracle Consortium bears the cost of providing the electronic equipment, computers and accessories and would be responsible for human capacity development. Six schools in Ghana - Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) Girls Secondary, Ho; Acherensua Secondary School, Acherensua; Akomadan Secondary School, Akomadan; Wa Secondary School, Wa; St Augustine Secondary School, Bogoso and Walewale Secondary School, Walewale are to benefit from the project.

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister of Regional Co-operation and NEPAD and Dr Aggrey Ntim, Deputy Minister for Communications, signed for Ghana. Mr Matthew Chetty, Manager NEPAD e-Schools Initiative e-Africa Commission, signed for his outfit, while Mr Antonio Sophie, Regional Manager for Oracle for Africa, signed for Oracle.

The objectives of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative are to provide Information, Communication Technology (ICT) skills to provide primary and secondary school pupils to enable them to function in the emerging Information Society and Knowledge Economy, to provide teachers with skills to enable them to use ICT as tools to enhance teaching and learning.

Equally, the Initiative would provide school managers with ICT skills so as to facilitate the efficient management and administration in schools. Mr Osafo-Maafo underscored the need for teachers to brace themselves up for ICT to transform their classrooms from a static one-way flow of information from teacher to student to a dynamic student centred learning environment doing collaborative learning, both in their own classroom as well as virtual classes around the world through the Internet. He announced that the Ministry of Education and Sports in collaboration with the University of Education, Winneba, the Microsoft Corporation was currently training 180 teachers from selected Basic, Secondary and all Training Colleges, at the University of Education, Winneba to build their capacity to be able to integrate ICT in the teaching and learning process.

Also, the Ministry is involved in two key strategic plans to roll out ICT in the nation's educational institutions as a means to address some of the challenges in the educational system. Dr Apraku said the Monitoring and evaluation plan of NEPAD would report on the extent to which the Demonstration Project achieved the objectives of the NEPAD e-schools.